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Week 2: Linguistic Form a.k.a “baby linguistics”.

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Presentation on theme: "Week 2: Linguistic Form a.k.a “baby linguistics”."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 2: Linguistic Form a.k.a “baby linguistics”

2 This week: Sounds of language Sound production “Phonemics” Morphology

3 Human Language What do children learn when they learn a language? What do adults know when they have acquired language?

4 What is linguistics? Linguists study different SYSTEMS that make up human language. Even chaotic conversations have been shown to operate on certain principles. Linguistic anthropologists must understand these systems in order to see how they interact with culture and social interaction.

5 Sounds of Human Language Phonetics: focuses on identification and description of human language sounds - basic units are phones, represented in [ ] Phonemics (phonology): analysis of the way sounds are arranged in languages - basic units are phonemes, represented in / / Ottenheimer pp. 34-5

6 Phonetics acoustic phonetics (acoustics) – studies properties of speech sound waves auditory phonetics – studies perception of language sounds articulatory phonetics – studies production of language sounds

7 Producing sounds How are speech sounds made? Speech sounds for spoken (not sign) languages are produced using the vocal apparatus:

8 Lungs 

9 Speech sounds vary according to: Place of articulation (the position of your vocal apparatus when making the sound, or shape of your mouth for vowels) Manner of articulation (how you move your articulators as you make the sound)

10 The IPA International Phonetic Alphabet You can reach this link through the Ottenheimer textbook website

11 Vocal cords Air moves through the larynx from the lungs –If the vocal cords are open and relaxed, they don’t vibrate, creating voiceless sounds, e.g. [sssss] –If the vocal cords are closed and tense, they vibrate, creating voiced sounds, e.g. [zzzzzz]

12 Voiceless sounds (e.g. ssssss) Voiced sounds (e.g. zzzzzzzz)

13 Voicing Speech sounds are either voiced or voiceless Voiceless = vocal cords not vibrating Voiced = vocal cords vibrating Voiceless/voiced pairs: p/b t/d

14 Nasal/oral Nasal sounds allow air to escape through the nose; oral sounds don’t. Say “mmmmm” and “zzzzzzz” So, when we have a cold, instead of sounding “nasal,” we sound “oral”

15 Consonant vs. Vowel Consonants: Sounds made by a closure or narrowing of the vocal tract, producing blockage or considerable friction in the airflow; sounds with audible constriction in the airflow Vowels: sounds made without a complete closure in the mouth or narrowing that would produce considerable friction; sounds with minimal constriction in the airflow.

16 Key Features of Consonants Place of articulation – where is the air flow restricted? e.g. labio-dental; alveolar Manner of articulation – how is the airflow restricted? e.g. stop; fricative Examples: Velar stop = k Bilabial stop = b Bilabial trill = [raspberry] labio-dental fricative = f

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18 Vowels Vowels are formed by changing the shape of the space inside the mouth by using your tongue and lips: beet, bit, bait, bet, bat, but, bite, bout, bought, boot, book, boat Using the IPA avoids the confusion of English spelling!

19 “The vowel space” height of tongue – beet vs. bat place of tongue – beet vs. bet rounding of lips – beet vs. boot

20 Basic phonology (phonemics) A phonological system includes all of the differences that are SIGNIFICANT to speakers of a particular language.

21 Speech sounds We perceive sounds as different from one another because they vary in particular ways. Speakers of different languages “hear” different distinctions.

22 For example: English distinguishes between: LIP RIP BUT, Japanese only distinguishes the “r” sound, Cantonese, the “l” sound. Native speakers of those languages may not “hear” the difference between lip and rip.

23 Phoneme Ottenheimer pg. 47: Sounds that function to distinguish one word from another in a language bill; kill; dill; gill; hill; Jill; mill; nil; pill; rill; sill; till; will Each language has a distinct set of phonemes.

24 Example: In English, palatalizing (squishing your tongue up against the roof of your mouth while pronouncing it) an “n” doesn’t change the meaning of a word, but in Russian, it does. English: “not” vs. “nyot” (it’s still “not,” you just sound weird) Russian: “nos” vs “nyos” nose he carried

25 Another example: Aspiration Aspiration is a “puff” of air following a consonant [See Ottenheimer, pp. 50-51] In English, aspiration is an important part of how we distinguish between voiced and voiceless consonants (* means that a usage doesn’t follow the rules of English): *[pin] [p h in] (can you say [pin]?) [spin] *[sp h in] [p] and [p h ] are allophones of /p/ in English.

26 Allophone Variations of the same phoneme. Each variant occurs in a different environment. This is called conditioned variation. [Ottenheimer pg. 51] Speakers of a language “hear” all of the allophones of a phoneme as the “same” sound Example: [p h ] and [ p ] in “pin” and “spin” [p h ] occurs at the beginning of words and [ p ] occurs after [s]

27 Another example: /t/ Compare “ton” and “stun” [t h un] and [stun] Another allophone of /t/ in many dialects of English is the glottal stop, which occurs when “t” appears in the middle of words. Compare: mitt [mit] mitten [mi?n]

28 t h occurs at the beginnings of words t occurs at ends of words, or after consonants (like s) and in some dialects between vowels ? (glottal stop) occurs between vowels (some dialects) Because they occur in complementary distribution [always in different locations], these sounds are part of the same PHONEME, or ALLOPHONES.

29 Phoneme test Are sounds in complementary or similar distribution? (Ottenheimer, pg. 51) bat, pat only in similar distribution, dun, ton these are different phonemes p h in, spin only in complementary distribution t h on, stun these are the same phoneme

30 Different languages Each language has its own system of phonemes. Ottenheimer gives an example from Hindi, where [p h ] and [p] are two different phonemes: [p h əl]= fruit [pəl] = rum

31 Suprasegmental features Stress – record (n) vs. record (v) Pitch – important in tone languages like Mandarin Chinese Length – vowel and consonant length can distinguish phonemes. –Tewa /si/ (six) vs. /si:/ (intestine)

32 Suprasegmental features in English In English, suprasegmental features do not have a phonemic function, but they do have a function: the WHITE house/ the white HOUSE When he approaches, the girls don’t pay attention to him When he approaches the girls, don’t pay attention to him JACK likes fish. Jack LIKES fish. Jack likes FISH. That’s a biiiiiiig piece of cake!

33 Review: phonology phonetics refers to the study of the sounds of all human languages A phonological system includes all of the differences are SIGNIFICANT to speakers of a particular language.

34 Phonemes Phonemes are units of sound perceived by people using a phonological system It is important to remember that phonemes are made up of several phones (sounds) that speakers perceive as being “the same” even though they are different. example: the “p” in pin and the “p” in spin

35 Phonology: Minimal pairs A minimal pair is a pair of words that vary ONLY by ONE phoneme in the same position in the word. If you have a minimal pair, the sounds in similar (overlapping) distribution (same place in the word) are separate phonemes. e.g.: PIN/BIN SAP/ZAP

36 Phoneme test Are sounds in complementary or overlapping distribution? (Ottenheimer, pg. 51) bat, pat overlapping distribution, dun, ton these are different phonemes p h in, spin complimentary distribution t h on, stun these are the same phoneme

37 Phonemes vs. allophones Recognized by speakers as separate sounds Differentiate between words (kill/dill/will), so they appear in overlapping distribution with each other (all at the same place in a word) Phonemes are the separate sounds of a language Speakers hear them as the same sound Allophones are different versions of the same phoneme, so they never appear in the same place in a word: t h un, but not st h un. “st h un” and “stun” aren’t different words. That means allophones of a single phoneme appear in complementary distribution.

38 Many languages make phoneme distinctions that English does not. Example: Walpiri, an Austronesian language IPA Does Warlpiri have “3 r sounds”?: marru house trill tjarra flame maru black liquid (approximant) tjara fat mardu wooden bowl retroflex flap tjarda sleep

39 What mistakes might an English speaker make when learning Walpiri? Say the word “arrow” with these three “r”s To English speakers, these “r”s may all sound like one phoneme, that is, we don’t use the differences between these sounds to make the distinction between different words. However, for Warlpiri speakers, these are THREE phonemes, producing distinct words.

40 Film excerpt: The Human Language Evolves Call # VID 1747 vol. 3 This part focuses on phonetics and the evolution of the human language How the evolution of language led to “trade-offs” Complexity of language as an evolutionary phenomenon

41 Morphology Morphology is the study of the smallest units of meaning in a language, and how these units are put together to make words. (Ottenheimer, pg. 61) A morpheme is a part of a word that has a consistent meaning or function. Morphemes can carry lexical meaning or grammatical meaning.

42 Morphemes Words can be made up of one morpheme, or many morphemes. anti-dis-establish-ment-arian-ism help-er free morphemes can stand on their own as words (“help”) bound morphemes must be attached to another word – they can’t stand alone (“anti” or “ism” or “er”)

43 Morpheme types base is the foundation of a word - in English, these are often separate words, but in other languages, they may not be affixes are added to the base to make more words Example: base: farm affixes: -er, -s, -ing, -ed farm, farmer, farms, farmers, farming, farmed

44 Affixes Prefixes precede stems Suffixes follow stems Infixes appear within the stem itself English has prefixes and suffixes: happy (base) un-happy (prefix+base) un-happi-ness (prefix + base + suffix) Each language has a hierarchy, or order for affixes. For example, help-er-s, NOT help-s-er cat, catty, cattiness NOT catnessy

45 English also has an intensive infix, used to insert curse words into the middle of a word (some dialects). abso-f***ing-lutely, fan-bloody-tastic Other languages use infixes the same way English uses other types of affixes: Bontoc, a language of the Philippines uses infixes /fikas/ strong /fumikas/ he is becoming strong

46 Other affixes circumfixes – attach simultaneously to both ends of a word –Example: Russian “na-/-sja” na-el-sja “he ate enough” –Muskogean “i-/-o” i-kchokm- o “he is not good” reduplication – creating an affix from the base and adding it on: “pee-pee” –“mpolempole” – very slowly

47 Morpheme test To test for whether something is a morpheme, ask: Can you isolate a meaning for a piece of a word? The meaning may be grammatical. Slowly slow and –ly are morphemes - ow- is not a morpheme Russian: pereshivat’ = to resew pere, shi, iv, at’ “re” “sew” “many times (aspect)” “to” (verb/infinitive)

48 Allomorphs Different forms of the same morpheme that occur in different (sound) contexts Ottenheimer [pg. 70] gives the English example of the “in-” (not) prefix im-possible (used before [p]) il-logical (used before [l]) in-describable (used before [d] [t] [s])


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